International Women’s Day: favourite female book characters, chosen by Peters’ librarians

International Women's Day - Librarian Characters
March 8th, 2019

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day recognising the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In celebration, we asked our librarians to compile a list of some of their favourite female book characters.

Their delightful choices represent strong, determined, intelligent and sympathetic characters, all of which are powerful and memorable in their own ways.

 

 

 

9781444935011

 

George Kirrin

Recommended by Mel, Schools Team Manager

 

George is always the most spirited and interesting character in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series (apart from Timmy the dog), also, she had untameable curly hair! I loved the fact that she paid no heed to the ineffectual adults that were peripheral to the story, and she was the architect of the action rather than a passive character.

 

You can find George in The Famous Five: Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton

Suitable for key stages 2 and 3

 

 

 

9780141331331

 

Charlotte A. Cavatica 

Recommended by Lucy M, School Sales Co-ordinator

 

Charlotte the spider is the honourable heroine who hatches a clever, cunning plan in an attempt to save her friend, Wilbur the pig, before he is sent to slaughter. Charlotte is truly devoted to her friends, and her ingenious master plan proves a success as she does everything in her power to save a friend from an inevitable fate. An excellent role model.

 

You can find Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Suitable for key stages 2 and 3

 

 

 

9780099582779

 

Tracy Beaker

Recommended by Katie, Children’s Librarian

 

Tracy is a spirited and funny character, growing up in a children’s home. She likes to be the centre of attention, has strong opinions and a huge imagination. Her love of making up stories helps her to dream of a better life, but also gets her into a lot of trouble sometimes. I loved her as a child for her rebelliousness, her brilliant stories and often hilarious take on life. I had a much happier childhood than Tracy but as a similarly strong-willed, imaginative girl I really identified with her.

 

You can find Tracy Beaker in The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson

Suitable for key stages 2 and 3

 

 

 

9780241374863

 

Jo March 

Recommended by Mel, Schools Team Manager, and Lucy M, School Sales Co-ordinator

 

As one of four, equally unique sisters, Jo March is a feisty young woman who eludes societal expectations in order to carve her own path, and make her own decisions. Jo refuses to be obsequious and readers learn to embrace her passion and her flaws, in order to understand that Jo’s ‘dark’ moments are natural thoughts that will resonate with many young girls.

 

You can find Jo March in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Suitable for key stages 2 and 3

 

 

 

9781406371673

 

Angelique Lacroix

Recommended by Debbie, Bibliographic Librarian

 

Her character shows strength and resolve in the quest to save her family and their farm in France after her father is killed during World War I, and she carries on with determination although the odds seem insurmountable and desperate.

 

You can find Angelique in The Goose Road by Rowena House

Suitable for key stage 3

 

 

 

9780007241620

 

Valkyrie Cain aka Stephanie Edgely aka Darquesse

Recommended by Diane, Professional Services Manager

 

How many characters get to have three distinct, named versions of themselves! She is edgy, irreverent, intelligent, witty, second to none in a fight against the evil powers that be, but also caring, vulnerable and ultimately just a school girl – with a skeleton as a companion! Who both saves and destroys the world…

 

You can find Valkyrie Cain in Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Suitable for key stages 3 and 4

 

 

9780340989081

 

Rose Casson

Recommended by Hannah, Children’s Librarian

 

Amidst a dysfunctional family of eccentric but loveable characters, the youngest, Rose, stands out for her fierceness, independence and vulnerability. I challenge readers not to be charmed by her!

 

You can find Rose in Forever Rose by Hilary McKay

Suitable for key stages 3 and 4

 

 

 

9780747570639

 

Mattie Gokey

Recommended by Hannah, Children’s Librarian

 

Mattie’s refusal to conform to the social norms of her time, her deep-rooted integrity and her love of words and language make her the most compelling of heroines. She is so well written by Donnelly that I felt I inhabited the story with her.

 

You can find Mattie Gokey in A Gathering Light by Hilary McKay

Suitable for key stages 3 and 4

 

 

 

9781594744761

 

Miss Peregrine

Recommended by Katie, Children’s Librarian

 

She is brave and resourceful, taking any measures necessary to protect the peculiar community. She uses her magical powers for good, even though some of her own family members succumb to the temptations of evil, and despite her fussy nature she genuinely loves and cares for the children in her charge. Miss Peregrine is definitely the kind of person you would want on your side in a battle to save the world!

 

You can find Miss Peregrine in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Suitable for key stage 5

 

 

 

9781781086353

 

Halo Jones

Recommended by Lucy F, Children’s Librarian

 

When life left Halo adrift, all she could find to hope for in her future was to get out; out of the harsh settlement she lived in, out of the confines of her social position, and out of the solar system itself. Her story is one of mistakes made, opportunities lost and horrors endured, but endure she does, taking the reader with her as she grows from a hopeful, naive girl to a realistic yet still idealistic woman. Unable to find the things she wanted – a legend to believe in, an example to follow, a sympathetic soul she could trust with everything – she becomes those things for herself.

 

You can find Halo Jones in The Ballad of Halo Jones: Volume 1 by Alan Moore

Suitable for key stages 4 and 5

 

 

 

9780552140294

 

Susan Sto-Helit

Recommended by Lucy F, Children’s Librarian

 

The grand-daughter (via adoption) of the Discworld’s Death as well as a member of the nobility, Susan refuses to let either thread of her inheritance define her and instead determinedly forges her own path in life. However, when she does get drawn into matters of life and death, she always proves ready, if not wholly willing, to put her own life on the backburner in the interests of the greater good, and use her inherited powers and her own insight and perspicacity to solve problems affecting the whole world. Her quietly confident, integrous personality allows her to shake off conventional norms and the expectations of others and find her own way.

 

You can find Susan Sto-Helit in Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

Suitable for key stage 5 and up

 

 

 

For more information about International Women’s Day, please visit internationalwomensday.com

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